I’ve never seen the inside of so many people’s bathrooms. Seriously.
If you know me, you know I need to use the bathroom a lot. Or toilet as I am supposed to say now, according to international travel language. But being the good Canadian I am, I prefer the term bathroom or washroom. It’s so much more polite. Besides, I do personally wash my hands after using the toilet.
So add in a bit of beer consumption, as Agonda is a beach town in the south of Goa, a State which people like to say “is not India”, and consequently has no tax on alcohol. So then, cheap beer, weak bladder, and bathrooms of questionable cleanliness and function, generally located so far from the restaurant that I needed a headlamp and a personal escort to find. At some point, probably due to my ineptitude of finding said bathrooms, the guest house owners began to let me use the bathrooms attached to the coco (beach) huts located on the property. Some of them seemed occupied, others not. My favourite was when we had a drink at a roadside bar which had been built four days earlier, with apparently little thought to a bathroom (damn patriarchal society!), so the owner let me use his bathroom, located across the road, two stories up and three rooms back. He said they were building one the next day, but returning two days later, tomorrow had apparently not happened yet.
Our second last night in Agonda we went to Janis’ favourite restaurant, Rico’s, where we had great service, albeit with another non-functioning bathroom, so again, I got to use one located in someone’s room. Heading out of the restaurant to the road, the skies opened up like they haven’t done in the dry season in seven years, and we sought cover at the nearest shelter, another coco hut. Half an hour in, we were all needing the bathroom. Luckily, the cocohut was open, so we made ourselves at home, and visited yet another bathroom. It was only about half complete, but it was unclear as to whether or not this would be a permanent state, or was under construction.
The rain let up slightly, allowing us to run to the cover of Sanket’s car, where we spent an hour listening to rain inspired songs and passing around a bottle of whiskey, before heading in to another bar where live music was supposed to be taking place. While the rain had cancelled the show, Janis was kind of enough to put on an impromptu intimate concert, and even took our request for Country Road by John Denver, which for me elicits memories of motorbiking into the unmarked dirt roads in the North of Thailand with Vicente, my Spanish companion extraordinaire from a couple of years ago.
We went back to the roadside bar for the best momos (Nepalese dumplings) I’d ever had, hand made right in front of us. Most of the workers in Agonda seemed to be Nepalese, working between 4 and 8 months in the high season. Seasonal work is definitely something Marieke and I know a lot about. Luckily it’s our off season right now. It was a great way to end our time with Sanket and Janis, and our time in Agonda, and a perfect way to start off our India trip.
What I do wonder is what the guest house owner’s are planning to do closer to Christmas, when the beach gets busier. Maybe spend some money fixing the bathrooms. Although I do wonder why the extremely overstaffed places couldn’t do that now, but then again, I don’t know how to fix a bathroom. Marieke, on the other hand, has that covered.